Shouting Dad

I’ve only ever heard him shouting at them, in their garden mainly and like yesterday when he’s trying to get them all into the car to take them to school. She, by contrast appears so gentle, so attentive towards them. They are both tall and stringy. Both runners. But he is sharp edged where she is languorous. I’ve never spoken to them. We watch them, he and I from afar, intrigued. They rarely connect with their neighbours. Are they part of a religious sect we muse who frown upon contact with those outside of their faith? Perhaps. Arthur, Arthur, he was shouting at his son yesterday, get out. Get out now. And the boy was hauled out of the back seat of the car. Arthur is a dreamy child. I’ve watched him singing and dancing outside his house, in his own world. Happy it seems. Does their father’s ranting disturb them or does she soften his carping?

The milkman was delivering to the flats through the hall as I left our home for my walk this morning. It is always slightly alarming to encounter someone in the early dark like that. Hi, he called, as he slipped through the door, a dark figure, faceless. Good morning, I called back.

They got it wrong. There was no wind or rain. Though that must be little compensation to those in Yorkshire or indeed Venice. May they find some comfort, some succour and may the hell recede soon.

My ribs are still giving me gip as is my finger. Healing takes so much longer when you are as old as the hills.

I dreamt she and I were talking. We were outside in a kind of pleasure garden, rather like Tivoli. She was telling me of her boss. He was called Duncan. It’s the most she’s said to me in a long time. Her face was softer, kinder. It felt good to be on better terms with her, though nothing is ever revealed. Then there were two children, up close, near my face. They were smiling and laughing, the little boy, I knew had been fathered by a movie star. I wandered around the garden, there were lots of people sitting at tables, chatting and eating. The light was dappled, shade and sun, I wanted to find a patch of sun and saw an empty deckchair. Was it owned, was it free, could I sit there? Then I woke.

I’ve much to do – strands and notes and preparations. She was a delight to interview – so full of life. I felt honoured. Thank you. x